Canada Travel Guide
- Everything you need to know for your trip to Canada-
Canada is a country in North America sitting between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and has an area of about 3.85 square miles. The indigenous people of America initially inhabited this land until it was colonized by the French and British. This land had a long history until it became the country we know today. The history is rich, the soil and climate even richer, making it possible to develop tourism in many ways. Their political status and political strategies also make it a developed country that is rapidly becoming an even more comfortable place to live. All of these and the high quality of life also leads to safety and acceptance of other cultures, as you will soon discover in your trip to Canada.
Why Visiting Canada?
Despite being in the northern regions and having lots of mountains and snow, Canada is an all-year-round traveling destination. Some of the cities do have really cold winters, but most places have a suitable climate and weather at all times. It will result in a wonderful environment that has both green forests and snowy regions at the same time.
Good climate or not, the various forms of life in the vibrant environment of this country is something to behold. Lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, and even glaciers are seen along with a few desert areas in Canada. Because of this nature, it is safe to say this land is a perfect place for sports and outdoor activities.
And it is also a good country to be indoors. The people in the cities and towns are very nice and friendly, and there are bits of French history to learn from them and their buildings. Their culture, architecture, and cuisine have roots in France, which are mostly visible in Quebec.
A happy and friendly nation as they are, Canadians also know how to have some fun. At certain times during each year, some celebrations and festivals make their modern cities the perfect spot for parties.
Check the calendar and the forecast, and then plan your perfect holiday. And it does not matter who you bring with you to Canada as it is a great place to be with any age and any group. Inside the cities or in the environment, their activities are all fun and safe to have a family vacation as well.
Adventure across Canadian nature, find out about their interesting culture, visit their towns, and try their cuisine. Try everything you can during your stay, and plan to visit again, because you cannot see all of the world’s second-largest country in one go.
Canada Top Destinations
Best Time to Visit Canada
The climate in most spots of Canada is similar to the United States, but the further due north, it gets extremely cold. All four seasons are seen in this country but determining their time and durations are a little difficult. They have a very short Autumn and a long and cold winter. The summer would be ideal for any kind of travel plans as it offers the most pleasant weather, but other seasons are also possible for traveling to Canadian cities.
Spring – Shoulder Season (Mid-April – Mid-June)
Temperature: 0°C (32° F) – 12°C (53.6° F)
In late March, the cold begins to go away, and in Mid-April, the country starts to get warmer. Eastern and Western areas have different weather, but nature is becoming green and suitable for traveling. The ice and snow still exist, making them easier to visit on warmer and longer days. Vacations during Spring tend to be less costly, as the number of visitors is still low. The drawbacks would be the chilly air of some areas and possible rainy days.
Where to Visit During Spring
Summer – Peak Season (Mid-June – Mid-October)
Temperature: 18°C (64.4° F) – 35°C (95° F)
Summer is the most suitable time of year with the most available activities and pleasant weather in the cities. There are still skiing resorts for snow sports fans, and all other outdoor activities and national parks receiving the maximum number of tourists. Summer lasts long and has a great vibe for anything you want to do with a good temperature. All types of food you want to try are available during summer. During this season, you will see lots of other travelers in Canada.
Where to Visit During Summer
Autumn – Shoulder Season (Mid-October – Mid-November & December)
Temperature: 16°C (60.8° F) – 4°C (39.2° F)
This season is exactly the opposite of Spring, yet it gets more travelers for its beauty. The leaves are turning yellow and orange, making all the country amazing for taking memorable pictures. As the times move toward December, it gets colder, and national parks and the natural environment gets quiet again. Most activities are still available, with the addition of the Wine Sampling in Autumn.
Where to Visit During Autumn?
Winter – Low Season (Mid-November & December – Late March)
Temperature: -4°C (24.8° F) – -25°C (-13° F)
Cold all over the country. It is possible to see some snow all winter, which will prevent most visits to nature. Some areas are still less cold, like the coastal areas such as Vancouver, but that does not mean you can go to the beach. Most activities are frozen, and it is better to stay indoors. If you just want to explore the cities, or go skiing and try snow sports, this is the best time of year for such activities as well—the cheapest time for getting a hotel and exploring, if you can endure the cold.
Where to Visit During Winter
Best Canada Tours
Things to Do in Canada
Some people consider Canada to be a country with less history than other countries, which is wrong. You will only discover this by exploring this place and visiting its many museums and heritage sites next to the modern cities. Yet even if there was no history, the land has enough things to see to keep you interested. The Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and many other elements are mesmerizing attractions for most people.
And for travelers that are not so keen to visit the environment, there are other things to do. For these tourists, the best elements of Canada to enjoy is the culture and art of Canada. Modern sections are also unending, offering great Canadian architecture and other catching elements. Give it enough time, and this trip will provide more than you can see and enjoy.
Marvel at the Beauty of Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls sits at the border of the United States and Canada. The falls are the number one place to go to see some enchanting beauty. It is a great place to go alone, as a couple, or with your family. Just find a place to watch the falls or get a cruise on the waters. You can join the tourists on popular activities, or see the adventures and daredevils at the falls. The Horseshoe Falls section of Niagara Falls is the best section of it in Canada’s borders, with numerous highlights to pick.
Join the millions of visitors that come to see one of the most amazing parts of the environment and even visit the nearby town. The Niagara Falls are enjoyable all year, entertaining all travelers no matter the age. And since it is not far from Toronto, it can be a good starting point for your journey or adventure.
Travel Through Time at Old Quebec
If you miss Old Quebec, you have missed a treasure of Canada. Old Quebec is one of the oldest parts of the country, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historical sites to visit. The whole areas have ancient architecture and beautiful streets that will take you back in time to a few centuries ago. It looks like 16th century France with a few British modifications as they also built a few fortifications in the town.
If you love history, this is your place to marvel at all things left from the past. Visit the highlights such as Notre Dame de Quebec, Musée de la Civilisation, and more. In addition to these sites, enjoy the rich culture and art of the people still living in Old Quebec. The first settlers of the land have left so many interesting things to see, and while you are exploring, you have a chance to get into several amazing cafés and restaurants in town.
See Toronto From Above at the CN Tower
One of the most iconic places in the great city of Toronto is its CN Tower. The observation gallery and the restaurant in the CN Tower offer one of the greatest views of a city, and it is the best view of Toronto and Lake Ontario. Try both the LookOut and the Glass Floor views if possible but be sure to make one of them a priority in your trip to Canada. It is a great place to go no matter the time of the day or the season of your traveling.
Ascend hundreds of meters above ground and see the city beneath your feet as one of the top things to do in Canada.
Discover the Rich Landscape of Canada in Banff National Park
Banff National Park is a World Heritage Site of Canada in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta province. This part of the country is a showcase of all the beauties that can be found in Canada. It has trails for mountain biking, hiking, and trekking while offering mesmerizing views. Whatever you expect, like lakes, mountains, snowy peaks, glaciers, and rivers, you can find it here in Banff National Park.
It is age-friendly too, as it is suitable for adventures and families alike. To top all of the positive things about this place, know that it is suitable all year round. The only difference you will see each season is the species of birds and other forms of life in the park. Visiting this place is a must as it is the first National Park of Canada and one of the best, getting more than 3 million travelers each year.
Winter or Summer, Have Fun at Whistler
Whistler is famous for skiing and snowboarding during winter and playing golf and mountain biking in summer. It has fantastic views of the Alpines, and it is great for winter sports. It was even the site where some of the 2010 Winter Olympics Games took place. There is also the Village of Whistler that is popular among tourists. This popularity is mostly due to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Their resorts in Whistler Blackcomb are among the top resorts of all Northern America, with many more amazing shops, restaurants, cafés, and other places to have fun.
Enjoy the pretty sight, do some skiing and then get a taste of its nightlife. If you are more interested in family activities, then head to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre as well to see another of Whistler’s top highlights.
See the Dinosaurs at Drumheller
Drumheller Badlands was one of the major sites of discovery where numerous dinosaur fossils were discovered, giving it the name of dinosaur capital of the world. This place is perhaps the most educational visit in the country, with having the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. And guess what? Drumheller is another of Canada’s top places for all ages and groups. Drumheller has gained fame and became a highlight of the country ever since discovering these magnificent creatures in the 18th century.
Visit the Anne of Green Gables
Located on Prince Edward Island is Lucy Maud Montgomery’s house, the home of Anne of Green Gables. The tale called Anne of Green Gables was first published in this house in 1908 and then got famous worldwide with millions of readers. The house is a very lovely place with beautiful surroundings. More than the Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island has a rich history and a pretty enough environment.
Enjoy all of the islands, and be sure to visit this house. Couples will find the place even more lovely than the rest of the travelers, but that does not mean it is any less fascinating to others. While on Prince Edward Island, be sure to check the rest of its attractions to make the most of this trip.
Explore the Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens in British Columbia is an all-year green paradise in Canada. It is a paradise with several gardens in different styles in a very vast area. Not only It’s a relaxing experience for all groups of travelers, but it also is even dog-friendly! This lovely paradise is full of beauties to get you hooked for several hours and make it more enjoyable and educational. There are descriptions of the countless plants and flowers you encounter inside the Butchart Gardens.
See the Polar Bears and More of Wildlife in Churchill
If you love polar bears or want to fall in love with them, make a visit to Churchill in Manitoba. Plant your visit to Hudson Bay during October and November. During this time, the Polar Bears migrate, making it ideal for joining countless others who come to see these great beasts. Get a boat tour and watch them from a distance as they make their journey and get a glance at their cubs.
While visiting Churchill, another recommendation is visiting the rest of the wildlife and marine life as well. It is a suitable place, depending on the time of year, to see the whales, seals, and several species of birds in the region.
See the Pretty Wild Horses at Sable Island
Sable Island is a remote and isolated place with hundreds of wild horses. It is mostly calm, with a unique history that is a little difficult to visit. First of all, you can only get to Sable Island via boats or plane, and before that, you need to get permission to access the place. The environment at this national park is also rather different and unique than the rest of Canada.
Get a Tour of Parliament Hill
Ottawa’s Parliament Hill is where you will see the historic structure of Canada’s Parliament. It sits above the Ottawa river and has a good view and has a marvelous Neo-Gothic architecture. It was built in the 19th century as a key building in the country with some of the most exciting tours you can get. Parliament Hill, with the building or not, has a lovely area and surroundings. That alone is enough to put it on the list of top places to see. When you are in the area, plan to tour the different building sections and visit its lovely garden.
Spend a Few Days in Vancouver and Explore
Vancouver is a city with various things to do and places to go. Its biggest highlight may be the Whistler Blackcomb, but there are many more places one must-see. One of these places is Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is enough to keep you busy for several days, with its hiking trails, camping sites, and numerous resorts. This part of the environment in Canada is also something worthy of exploring.
After that, you must go to Vancouver Downtown with several historic neighborhoods and the world’s first steam-powered clock. The more modern areas of Vancouver are also good for having some fun and strolling.
Try the Watersports of Bay of Fundy or Discover its Nature
Add the Bay of Fundy to the list of wonderful places in eastern Canada where you can visit nature. The Bay of Fundy is also a hotspot for watersports having low and high tides at different times of the year. Rafting is a favorite in these parts, but picking the right time is a very important factor. If adrenaline is not what you seek, stick to hiking with the occasional boat trip to see the whales at certain times of the year.
Spend the Summer Holidays at Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede, also known as Cowtown, is a popular destination during summer because of its July fair. At the right time of the year, this town gets its western vibes with games and shows, drawing travelers and tourists. Try their food, join in on the games, and feel like a true cowboy or cowgirl. Put on a fitting outfit and join the games and win a prize, all in one of your best summer holidays ever.
Journey Behind Niagara Falls
Something fun to do in Canada that is missed by many travelers is journeying Behind Niagara Falls. There is an access tunnel near the bottom of Horseshoe falls that will take you up behind the falls. After going through the tunnel and taking the elevator up, you will reach a platform right behind the waterfall. You can just admire the scene or go close, hear the water and get wet just Behind Niagara Falls.
Go Camping in the Rockies
The Canadian Rockies have a beautiful environment very similar to Banff National Park. Enchanting and amazing, having green forests, glaciers, and rivers, but their popularity is due to the ease of traveling in the area. The terrain will not be bothersome, and hiking or conquering the summit will not be too hard. Some of the trails do not even require special equipment or training, but still, it is better to stay safe in such areas.
Besides that, the peak of the Rockies of Canada is an ideal camping destination.
Reside in Hôtel de Glace
It might be a good idea to plan your trip in January and March when it is colder to stay in Hôtel de Glace. This so-called ‘ice hotel’ is rebuilt in about 30 days each year with a unique architecture to hold guests. Hôtel de Glace is not just a residence as it has hot tubs, statues, a bar, and a restaurant. Every stay in this hotel is a different experience, but a memorable one.
Go to Canada’s Wine Country at Okanagan Valley
Among the more peaceful and calm activities of the country is visiting Okanagan Valley. Some of the best things there are clear lakes and mountains. Numerous wineries are brewing the finest of Canada in a place that is rapidly expanding and getting even prettier. Wine sampling, strolling around, and enjoying the quiet are among the things that anyone can like in Okanagan Valley, away from the noise of the cities.
Feel the Calm of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a large area in Alberta with several parts that are suitable for all tastes. The only thing to consider is time for exploration due to the vastness of the area. Among Saskatchewan’s more delicate parts is Cypress Hills, with green and lovely environment and fun things like riding horses and going to ranches.
Another place known as the ghost town in Saskatchewan is Uranium City, which used to be near a Uranium mine. The mine closed down in the late 20th century, and the town was abandoned. In a few decades, what was abandoned, became a tourist destination. The surrounding areas are lovely, and the remaining structures are something to see that have a good history to tell.
Witness the Aurora Borealis in Whitehorse Yukon
The Aurora Borealis or Northern Light is a marvelous phenomenon that can be witnessed in this prime location in the north of the planet. It is only seen in a limited time of year, but the environment of Canada, as well as the clear and long nights of Whitehorse Yukon, make it perfect for making the most of this trip. And since the Aurora Borealis is something rare, you must either plan for seeing it at specific times of the year or just do your best to get the chance of catching it.
It is at the bottom of the list only because it is something rare. It may be our last recommendation, but do not think it is any less than the other attractions. The Aurora Borealis is perhaps the biggest competitor for Niagara Falls in terms of its beauty.
What to see in Canada
Local Transportation in Canada
The Buses are available in all the cities and towns, and they are the most common means of transportation. To use them or other types of public transports, you need to buy tickets or transit passes available at stores, stations, and the drivers of these public transits.
Available in most of the major cities and towns. As soon as you run out of destinations with trains, hop on a bus to take you the rest of the way. The capital is the best place in the country in terms of transportation since you will need nothing else to go around.
Taxis are also available in all the cities and towns, with various companies. Most of the cabs are equipped with meters and have fixed fees, but if you do not see a meter, ask for the costs before moving. There are no negotiations for the costs as the taxi companies fix them.
As for Uber, you can use your Uber account with ease in Canada. And you do not even need any updates or modifications in this country. Just pick a destination, and you are set.
Intercity Transportation in Canada
Due to Canada’s vastness, the fastest and most suitable means of transportation at long distances is air travel. Major cities and areas have airports; therefore, it is possible to find regular flights to these areas and then head out to other destinations with buses or trains. While taking flights, consider that they will not come cheap.
They are much cheaper than taking a plane, but still not as cheap as the buses. They are safe and very comfortable for traveling, and some of them offer some scenic routes. If you want to do your traveling by train, book your tickets in advance since they are popular and get full really fast. At times, you can also get discounts by booking your train tickets.
Bus is the cheapest of the transports and the only one that will take you to absolutely anywhere in Canada. They may not be very good for very long distances (it can be boring) but they are still safe and very comfortable if you pick the right bus. And they will be your only options in some places that have no rails or airports.
If you want to enjoy the sea when in the coastal areas and islands, travel by ferries. They are reasonably priced and can be easily found near the coast.
If you are not concerned with the costs, it is a great idea to rent a car and drive. The roads and highways are suitable for driving, and you can go wherever on the map that you desire.
Flight Deals to Canada
Canada Travel Costs
Canada is not cheap, but it has a lot of options to help out budget travelers. There are all kinds of hostels, dorms, and budget hotels in cities and towns, as well as the chance to go camping. Eating and drinking at restaurants are going to be costly, even if you travel alone. The transports are not that problematic, especially if you have prepared to take the buses. Purchasing a Transit Pass is an excellent idea to save money, especially since buses are the only means of transportation you plan to take. However, passes are only money-saving if you are planning to stay long. Do the math and pick the options according to your visit’s season and the duration of your stay.
Food in Canada is slightly more expensive than in the US because of the taxes in restaurants. The best way to travel on a budget in Canada is to do your own cooking and stick to grocery shopping. If you really do not want to stick to street food and cheap restaurants, learn some Canadian recipes, and make your own food.
Camping and staying in dorms and hostels can be as cheap as $25 US dollars, but as soon as you go to a hotel, the prices rise drastically. This rise in prices will also increase further in the larger cities, making your trip much more expensive in better hotels. The cheapest hotel rooms you can find are about $50 US dollars and higher.
If you stick to buses, you will save a lot of money, spending only about $5-10 US Dollars daily. Unless you are concerned about the speed and timing, the buses have suitable quality in all places. As soon as you choose a more expensive means of transportation, forget about saving money altogether and just focus on speed and comfort.
Tipping in Canada
Tipping is customary all over the country. The most suitable amount would be %15-20 of the price but be warned when going to the restaurants. The tax that was mentioned earlier will not be included in the price. For example, if you order something that is $10 on the menu, expect to get a bill with an additional %10 tax (or higher) plus the tip. This inconvenience is only seen in eateries, and tipping is nearly the same as in the US.
|Low-end (US $50-100/day)||Get a bus pass, cook your own meals, and stay in dorms, hostels, and motels. Camping is also ideal since nature is one of the best parts of Canada.|
|Mid-range (US $100-300/day)||Mid-range hotels and rooms with better food along with drinks at restaurants. You can rent a car, but it is still better to use public transports, which is very useful. You may also enjoy some of the attractions and visits.|
|Top-end (US $300+/day)||You can stay in 4-star hotels or better, eat in good restaurants and have much better food and drinks. Visit the Ski resorts, national parks and explore all attractions. Still, it is possible to travel by public transports, but you can rent a car and forget about schedules and tickets.|
Best Hotels in Canada
It is best to say Canada has all kinds of accommodations with different prices and qualities. It would be redundant to talk about the options and how cheap or expensive they can get, but it can be said that booking will help in deciding. Traveling off the peak season will get you discounts, and by booking, you can see all the available options and their prices to get the best offers.
Canada Travel Tips
With 9% of the global freshwater resources, you can access free and safe tap water in Canada. Tap water is so fresh, safe, and clean in Canada that using bottled water is not recommended over tap water. If you’re wondering whether it is safe to drink water from the bathroom tap, yes! It’s the water from kitchen tap water.
Leaving a tip is optional, but it’s expected. Differently, In Canada and the USA, not tipping is considered rude. 15-2-% gratuities on the total bill (before tax) are customary in Canada depending on the received service: poor service gets less and more for excellent service. Waiters have to share tips.
Canada has two official languages: English and French. English is the native language of most Canadians; approximately 85% of Canadians speak English. French is the preferred language in Quebec and Nunavut. However, services are delivered in both languages.
According to the low crime rates, Canada is of the safest countries to visit. Everyone, including travelers, is respected in Canada, which is famous for its peacemaking diplomacy. Canada is generally a safe destination. Rest assured, you’ll probably face no big deals!
You can easily change currencies into Canadian dollars at banks, shopping malls, supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. Looking for some currency in hand, there’re more than 65,000 ATMs in Canada known as automatic banking machines (ABM).
Canadians almost prefer casual dress. Jeans and t-shirts for summer and wool jackets in the winter! Things in Canada tend to be very informal.
You can access public free Wi-Fi everywhere in Canada, but don’t count on it in every respect. In large cities, you can find many hotspots, but everything differs in the countryside.
Canada’s government follows slight censorship. Websites hosted in Canada and in other jurisdictions should pursue local laws.
Unlike the 220 volts used in Europe, all electrical appliances in Canada, Quebec, and almost everywhere in North America run on 120 V. So, Canada and the US plugs are the same of types A and B. Plug type A and B both have two flat parallel pins, with a grounding pin in plug type B. European plugs may not be used in Canada.
|Fire, Police, and Medical Emergency||911|
|Information on City Services & Programs||311|
|Non-Emergency Health Services||211|
Currency & Money Tips
Currency & Exchange
The Canadian Dollars are the official currency of Canada. The CAD has slightly lower rates as compared with the US Dollars. You can very easily exchange into the Canadian currency in your home country and before traveling, or alternatively, exchange in Canada. There are many places to exchange at airports, banks, offices, restaurants, hotels, and more. You can also use the numerous kiosks and ATMs all across the country.
Most people will tell you it is a bad idea to exchange at airports or most banks. Although you can find better rates at certain other places, know that the rates are fixed in all of these places. The only difference would be in the taxes and such extra expenses.
Some of the best banks you can visit for your exchange are; Royal Bank of Canada, Citibank Canada, Scotiabank, and Bank of Montreal.
- Banknotes: $5, $10, $20, $50 CAD
- Coins: 25¢, 10¢, 5¢, $1, $2
Before making your exchange either at home or in Canada, check the rates, just to be safe.
Some ATMs will charge extra for exchange or withdraws, but not all. The only way to avoid paying such extra charges is to research the banks or decline as soon as you see the extra fees. Most banks, especially those in the Global ATM Alliance, will not have additional fees for withdrawal and exchange, but they are very small amounts even if they do.
As for the availability of ATMs, they can be easily seen in all towns and villages as well as major cities. They are not hard to come by, even in the remote and less populated regions. The conversion and withdrawal for visitors will be made with more ease and better rates if you pick the right card for traveling.
Almost all credit cards are available in Canada with or without transaction fees. It is best to check with your bank before departure about your cards. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted and usable in all of Canada.
Instead of using cash or cards, the alternative in Canada is to make your transactions and purchases online. It needs a bit of getting used to and may be difficult for some people, but it is also an option to considers.
Food & Drink (Canadian Food)
It might be hard for some people to believe, but Canada has a very rich and amazing cuisine. They have several odd or exotic snacks and desserts as well as fantastic drinks and great meals. It would be a mistake to go to this beautiful country and not try its great food. Traditional or not, they are creative about what they cook and what they eat while using regional ingredients. Many of their recipes come from France and their time as settlers, but all traditional dishes have changed and became much better than they initially were.
On a more general note, eat only Canadian food while in this country. Locals may prefer certain tastes, but they are all something lovely that everyone can eat. And do not worry about strict diets or certain preferences in food; Canada will not disappoint you.
Poutine is the most popular and famous cuisine of Canada that originated in Quebec. This dish is a simple as having French fries, cheese curds, and gravy. It can be easily found all over the country and even in other countries. The Poutine has a savory taste, and the classic version is the best of it, but it has other versions that come with meat as toppings. Try it fresh and do not miss it, as its popularity is not by chance; its taste is amazing.
Montreal Smoked Meat
Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches are the best kind of sandwiches you can get if you love meat. They are made with slices of beef brisket that is salted and spiced and then smoked. The flavor is wonderful, and it is rich in all of its various forms. These Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches are relatively large, too, so be ready to eat a huge amount of meat that may fall out of your plate.
Bannock is a simple and traditional kind of flatbread in Canada. This bread was initially created by the indigenous people of Canada that usually comes with sweet toppings. Bannock can be made in two ways; baked or fried. The same is also true about the taste, which can be plain or have various toppings. Bannock is very popular and considered a staple part of their cuisine because it is easily prepared, tasty, and can be taken on a long journey to the woods without losing its taste.
Nova Scotian Lobster Rolls
Canada has some amazing seafood, the best of which is their Nova Scotian Lobster Rolls. They come in buns and served with various other things that make them much tastier. These Lobster Rolls are amazing and very popular among the locals. Add a few drops of lemon, and try some of their local wine, and you have yourself a fantastic dinner.
As soon as you try the Nanaimo Bars of Canada, it will be difficult for you to have any other dessert or afternoon snack since they are so tasty! They are named after a British Colombian city with several layers that go great together. The base layer is a crumb mix, with vanilla icing and a layer of melted chocolate on top. There is no baking involved for the Nanaimo Bars, and as simple as they are, they are very popular.
The Caesar Cocktail
Taste the National Caesar Cocktail of Canada while in the country made with clamato juice (clam and tomato), vodka, Worcestershire, and tabasco. It was invented in this country, and it is considered the cousin of Bloody Marry that is served in most restaurants and bars. Some establishments have even taken to make it into a meal by adding burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and other things. It has many versions, some of which are called Bloody Caesar, and all of them are something amazing to try.
Take a tasty Bannock, then add anything sweet you can think of as a dessert! They are basically like doughnuts, except they are almost always sweet, do not have a hole, and are made with traditional bread. The main ingredient is creativity and perhaps a layer of Nutella right on top of the Bannock. The Beavertail is a very popular street snack and a dessert that can nowadays be found almost anywhere in the country. If you plan to make your own Bannock and Beavertails, you can even take an extra step and add sugar into the dough to make it even sweeter.
Among the sweet and popular Canadian desserts and snacks is the Butter Tarts invented in this country and have a rich history as some people claim. History or not, they are pastries that are shaped like small cups that have a creamy filling. The filling is usually made with local butter, eggs, sugar, and optional raisins. They are small and extra delicious, and a favorite during celebrations such as Christmas. Their bit size crusts and also come in different shapes and sizes but do not expect to see bigger ones.
Tourtière is a kind of meat pie left behind by the French that is still something popular in Canada. Minced meat is enriched with spices, herbs, and some vegetables in some places. Tourtière has become rather regional, using ingredients found in the nearby area, and even using their preferred meat in the pie. Add some potatoes to any kind of Tourtière you are having, and you get a traditional and hearty pie.
While in Montreal, you cannot leave without trying a famous Montreal Bagel. Many claim they are much better than the NYC Bagels, but better or not, they are a new experience. They are thinner, denser, and sweeter than regular Bagels, and they are baked in a wood-fired oven. During your time in Montreal, stroll around and get as many of them as you can. They come in different varieties with extra delicious toppings.
Ketchup and All Dressed Chips
In case you did not know, Canadians love Ketchup and use it a lot. Two of their favorite snacks are Ketchup Chips and All Dressed Chips, which has several flavors, including Ketchup! The classic Ketchup Chips will have a sweet taste with a little bit of vinegar and salt. The All Dressed Chips offers a mix of almost all chips flavors but in a good way.
What you just read about is not a meal or anything to fill you up, but it is the number one snack to try. Since adding the food to your diet is not exactly healthy, try not to get addicted to their taste.
Maple Syrup may not be a kind of food, but it is used a lot to make Canadian cuisine much better. You really want to have them when you get pancakes for breakfast, and if possible, try them as taffies. A special kind of taffy made with Maple Syrup is found in the snowy regions of the country. The Maple Syrup is heated until boiling, and then it is poured on clean snow to harden rapidly. Roll it up on a popsicle stick, and you get a dessert or snack like no other.
Saskatoon Berry Pie
Saskatoon Berry Pie is a fantastic dessert made with a special kind of berry found in Saskatoon. This tasty pie was invented in this city and then named after it. These berries have a unique taste, and the Saskatoon Berry Pie itself is perhaps the definition of the perfect pie in this city or perhaps the whole country. You might have to travel a little to find them, but any effort to find a Saskatoon Berry Pie is worth it.
Peameal Bacon or Canadian Bacon is a specialty of the country that is a juicier version of the other bacon types. For this Peameal Bacon, lean boneless pork loin is taken and trimmed and then rolled in cornmeal. The original version was rolled in peas to be preserved, but nowadays, the process has changed. If you are looking for a delicious breakfast, you need to try the Peameal Bacon at least once during your stay.
Split Pea Soup
A special dish made by the people of Quebec is the hearty and healthy Split Pea Soup. This creamy soup is made with peas, pork, herbs, and vegetables. It is one of the oldest foods of this country as the new settlers invented it to be something nutritious and very healthy. The recipe may have French roots, but the dish is completely modified with local ingredients and weather. The traditional version that is rarely seen used cured meat, dried peas, and vegetables to keep it edible for longer periods. The new version is fresh and much more enjoyable, found almost anywhere you travel.
Timbits are the specialty of a famous brand in Canada, called Tim Hortons. The Timbits are bite-sized doughnuts that everyone loves. These small and delicious Timbits are fantastic with coffee no matter which flavor you order. They are hard to miss as they are just as valued as the American doughnuts. Find a Tim Hortons sign and get a pack of deep-fried Timbits.
The Canadian Pizza is refined for the people’s taste with several Italians’ adjustments. It is not something beyond imagination; it is just a bit thinner, uses more bacon, pepperoni, and mushrooms. There is the possible use of the local favorite Maple Syrup, which creates something unique you have never seen anywhere else on the planet.
Ice Wine is a drink found in very cold countries that is very popular in Canada. They are made with grapes that are frozen and still on the vine. Since they need to be frozen naturally, you see how difficult to find them in most places. And since the Canadians love sweet drinks, Ice Wine is very famous and loved among the locals. Although this is not the only country making Ice Wine, it is considered a Canadian drink since most of it is produced there.
Just like their Ketchup Chips, they have amazing candies and treats like their Coffee Crisp. Several layers of biscuits, wafers, and the coffee flavor results in the Coffee Crisps that are perfect during the holidays and the time you are strolling in the streets.
A very delicious dipping sauce in Canada is their Swiss Chalet Sauce that looks a lot like gravy. Anything you have that is fried or baked, such as French fries, potatoes, and chicken, all go great with the Chalet Sauce. This sauce is among the most popular in the country, found in all the restaurants. The taste of this Chalet Sauce is just so great that some people take a sip from it as their food is finished and the sauce is left.
Mobile & Internet
There are several providers in Canada, all of which have excellent coverage in all areas and regions. If you need to make calls, you can pick the cheapest option and try them. Also, if the internet is what you need the most, Wi-Fi is available in almost all regions. Besides, unless you need internet on the go, a SIM Card will not be a necessity. Each provider has its offers depending on their speed, coverage, and data packages. Some of these providers are Telus Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada, Bell Canada, Rogers Canada, True Move, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Orange.
Just be careful not to purchase any SIM Cards that are not mentioned above since individual companies have adequate coverage and great packages. Still, they only operate in some parts of Canada.
The best company
Since the coverage and internet speed are almost the same, it would be difficult to say which one is best. If the primary concern is the price, True Move might be the most suitable option as it offers less costly alternatives. If the internet speed and coverage are the primary concerns, then the best option would be Telus Mobility that offers much better 5G in significant areas.
Where to buy it?
Anywhere outside the Airport! If you need to get connected as soon as you arrive, purchase and activate your SIM Card at the airport. If it is not crucial to get a card, it is better to wait until you reach a mall or retail store. They are easily found, and the prices are mostly fixed at most of these stores and offices.
Online purchasing is also an excellent option before traveling. The online offers are not that different than the ones inside the country.
Telus Mobility prepaid SIM card ($10-15 dollars – The Price May Increase Annually)
- CAD 45 package for 30 Days
- 1GB + 3.5GB bonus data
Unlimited Nationwide Calling, SMS, and MMS
Holidays & Festivals
|Name||Date 2021||Date 2022|
|New Year’s Day||1-Jan||1-Jan|
|Day After New Year’s Day||2-Jan||2-Jan|
|Orthodox Christmas Day||7-Jan||7-Jan|
|Orthodox New Year||14-Jan||14-Jan|
|Tu B’Shevat (Arbor Day)||28-Jan||17-Jan|
|Chinese New Year||12-Feb||1-Feb|
|National Flag of Canada Day||15-Feb||15-Feb|
|Nova Scotia Heritage Day||15-Feb||21-Feb|
|Louis Riel Day||15-Feb||21-Feb|
|Carnival / Shrove Tuesday||16-Feb||1-Mar|
|Yukon Heritage Day||26-Feb||25-Feb|
|St David’s Day||1-Mar||1-Mar|
|Isra and Mi’raj||11-Mar||1-Mar|
|Daylight Saving Time starts||14-Mar||13-Mar|
|St. Patrick’s Day||15-Mar||14-Mar|
|St. Patrick’s Day||17-Mar||17-Mar|
|First day of Passover||28-Mar||16-Apr|
|Last day of Passover||4-Apr||23-Apr|
|National Tartan Day||6-Apr||6-Apr|
|Vimy Ridge Day||9-Apr||9-Apr|
|St. George’s Day||26-Apr||25-Apr|
|Orthodox Good Friday||30-Apr||22-Apr|
|Orthodox Holy Saturday||1-May||23-Apr|
|Orthodox Easter Monday||3-May||25-Apr|
|Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)||8-May||28-Apr|
|Eid ul Fitr||13-May||3-May|
|National Patriots’ Day||24-May||23-May|
|National Indigenous Peoples Day||21-Jun||21-Jun|
|St. Jean Baptiste Day||24-Jun||24-Jun|
|Eid ul Adha||20-Jul||10-Jul|
|Terry Fox Day||2-Aug||1-Aug|
|New Brunswick Day||2-Aug||1-Aug|
|British Columbia Day||2-Aug||1-Aug|
|The Royal St John’s Regatta (Regatta Day)||4-Aug||3-Aug|
|Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)||10-Aug||30-Jul|
|Assumption of Mary||15-Aug||15-Aug|
|Gold Cup Parade||20-Aug||19-Aug|
|First day of Sukkot||21-Sep||10-Oct|
|Feast of St Francis of Assisi||4-Oct||4-Oct|
|Healthcare Aide Day||18-Oct||18-Oct|
|Milad un Nabi (Mawlid)||19-Oct||8-Oct|
|All Saints’ Day||1-Nov||1-Nov|
|All Souls’ Day||2-Nov||2-Nov|
|Daylight Saving Time ends||7-Nov||6-Nov|
|First Sunday of Advent||28-Nov||27-Nov|
|First Day of Hanukkah||29-Nov||19-Dec|
|Last day of Hanukkah||6-Dec||26-Dec|
|Feast of the Immaculate Conception||8-Dec||8-Dec|
|Anniversary of the Statute of Westminster||11-Dec||11-Dec|
|New Year’s Eve||31-Dec||31-Dec|
Shopping in Canada
The number one item you have to buy and bring home is the famous Canadian Maple Syrup. It is fitting to buy it from the biggest producer and exporter of these delicious syrups.
Buy a handmade Dream Catcher from the Canadian handcraft companies, or the indigenous people of the country. It is supposed to be hung above your bed to catch your bad dreams, but there is more to learn about them. It is the best opportunity to buy a good gift and learn its origins and mysteries.
Anne of Green Gables
The recommended place to visit above gets its name from the book Anne of Green Gables. If your friends are into reading books, buy the original ones from Canada itself.
Canadian Food Gifts
Other than the Maple Syrup, there is more to buy for people back home, generally known as Canadian Food Gifts. They include traditional Canadian sweets and edibles that are all local to the country.
The best of the Canadian Drinks you can get is the Ice Wine, but there are more. Their beer and whiskey are also suitable souvenirs for friends and loved ones, or yourself. And if you have no one who likes or drinks alcohol, you have to buy some of their fantastic coffee.
Snow Clothes and Gear
Canada is one of the best places to purchase appropriate clothing and gear if you plan to start adventuring and skiing worldwide. Buy one with the Canadian flag on it to remember this lovely experience wherever you go.
A genuine part of the heritage and traditions of the indigenous people are the Inukshuk stone monuments. The indigenous people of America originally constructed the Inukshuk as signs to guide the settlers and outsiders in the new world. Now they can be bought in smaller versions and as exotic souvenirs.